Concerned citizens gathered outside the Saskatoon Housing Authority office on Thursday to bring attention to the living conditions and management style being provided.
“It’s pure neglect. People cannot be treated this way,” said Dominika Kosowska, who lives in an SHA-managed building.
Kosowska, who shared her story with Global News in November, has been dealing with a rodent infestation.
“SHA has still not come to see the apartment,” said Kosowska.
Kosowska traveled from Saskatoon to Regina near the end of 2022 and spoke to the Minister of Social Services about the situation with her apartment. She said that no measures have been taken toward finding a solution.
“I have never received any responses, I’ve never received any resolutions from them, nothing. It’s all just words, copy and paste, sending the same email over and over again. No action is being taken,” Kosowska said.
“This is an issue not just about mismanagement and the dismissive, unprofessional attitude of SHA managers and management as regards tenants and their substandard living conditions, but about the breadth and scope of this problem which, if judging from the reactions posted on various social media sites of local media outlets, is most certainly in the public interest,” said Saskatoon resident Paul Miazga.
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The protesters said that the Housing Authority is subjecting immigrants, refugees and new Canadians to substandard living conditions.
However, the living conditions seem to vary between buildings, as some long-term residents say they have had no issues with the management or living conditions.
“I’ve never had any complaints,” said Donald Church, a four-year resident of a Saskatoon Housing Authority building.
“Anytime I had an issue, I would go talk to them and they were very prompt, very good, very caring about doing it.”
In addition to the living conditions, the protesters also called for the filling of vacant units that the SHA currently has.
“We have homeless people sleeping on the streets dying from cold, when Sask. housing has hundreds of empty apartments and empty houses and they are not placing people in those homes,” Kosowska said.
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She said after her story was heard at the legislature and spread across social media, she received thousands of comments from other residents saying they were having the same experiences.
“People need to be seen and heard,” said Kosowska. “I can be that voice for people who can’t.”
Kosowska said that the goal of the protest was to be heard by the SHA and for them to acknowledge the issue at hand.
Global News has reached out to the Saskatchewan Housing Authority and is still awaiting a response.